Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Regional Command at Echer’Naught, Olara
Filed: Harvest Moons 33rd, 3127
The nobility of Echer’Naught is up in arms at the sudden loss of their wells. My great civic work, Fort Halten Public Sanitation Works, blamed for the catastrophe. High Towne is collapsing, putting at risk all we have built…
…and arcfire below.
We are again at war, but against which foe, I do not yet know.
Eternal Sun 25th, 3127
Again Alpha Team loses its commander. Sergeant Grendel fell facing against forces of the Blood Witch, slain by his own kin. The creature known as Gram Gram has withdrawn her forces back toward the Guardian Gathers. I dispatched 1st through 4th Companies of the White Silver Wolves to follow her forces and finally bring the Blood Witch to heel. Perhaps now the Northern Gathers will unite against a common foe?
1st Company (Captain Rorauk Fyrforg)
2nd Company (Lieutenant Kornash)
3rd Company (Captain Helt), 1st Platoon (Lt. Kandar)
4th Company (Captain Avaron), 3rd Platoon (Lt. Hess), 1st Squad (Sgt Jager)
Eternal Sun 29th, 3127
Troops from A’Tora, Paradise and the 5th Company White Silver Wolves under Captain Juliet Brander liberated Mara from Dair-Az Lorask ki Gult forces. Though, the self proclaimed Grande Warlord was not in the field. The 5th Company remains in the desert seeking to unite the fractions Desert Princes to finally drive the Kal out of the sands. Despite this, the Kal still threaten much of the desert.
5th Company (Captain Juliet Brander, Silver Paladin), 2nd Platoon (Lt. Khalif amin Zayid)
Eternal Sun 33rd, 3127
A coalition force of goblinesh, a company of Legio Heroes legionnaires, Paradise troops, and led by Echer’Naught’s Delta Team defeat Kal forces north of A’Davar. By the time they return to the city, the Maelstrom army has retreated south. A’Davar is liberated, but Dair-Az Lorask ki Gult’s pet Olaran, Dair-Kron Kirall, will likely be forced to deal with the “A’Davar situation” personally.
What troubles me more is this new faction, the Black Wolf Brigade. While they are enemies of the Kal, their tactics are brutal and reports confirm that many of the commanders are given over to Flame. They are an abomination. Yet…there is something familiar…
Thunder Hawk 4th. 3127
I returned to Echer’Naught from meeting with the Long Recon Team in Tar’Imas. My prayer that they complete their mission and return to us. Moreover, Lord of Light and Lady Silver see them all safe.
Plans more forward in the city. The Fort Halten Public Sanitation Works is nearing completion. Along with the four Low Towne Housing blocks, Center Pointe renovations and memorial, the expansion of the City Watch to include barracks, City Hall and Courthouse with dwarven forged Clocktower, the Office of Exchequer and Chancery, and the expansion of the Post Riders Office, and the Red Lamp Hospital, the Sanitation Works nigh completes our final phase of expansion and renovations. Only the lighted streets of High Towne and Main Street remains of the initial plans.
Civic government appears to be functioning well. This Citizens council has grown with the citiy’s population. The House of the Blood seems to have rallied, more or less, behind Sir Halten. Though, his recent financial troubles have lessened his standing somewhat. I suspect RabenClau has maneuver himself in both Houses.
Thunder Hawk-Forest Dance 3127
My long and many absences from the city have done a disservice to my posting as Lord Mayor. While I awaited word of LRT, I monitored the growing situation in the Black Mountains, the Eternal Desert, the Kingdom of Camon, and elsewhere.
Festival Moons 8th, 3127
Cooperating in the field, Alpha Team under command of Corporal Sssahliissstah, and Delta under command of Lt. Cromwell managed to save A’Morgal, prevent the slaughter of the Black Mountain Dwarves, recover the stolen body of Clan Chief Rockbreaker, and build the foundation for a new alliance with Quadir and the Black Mountain Clanhomes. But, the mission was not without its setbacks.
Moreover, report indicate that the Maelstrom forces fully expected to be “evacuated” from A’Morgal. We have long speculated how they arrived so quickly in the desert from their camps in the Malakar Dominion. I firmly believe they were transported magically. But if so, by whom, and for what purpose? The Kal have the wealth, but they are embroiled is so many conflicts…? Too many questions with too few answers.
Forest Dance 10th, 3127
Another blow to Alpha Team. RFC Steelwing was lost, sacrificing himself to end the threat of
Andak-Gol Ivar ki Novri, the Winghunter. I understand his desire, and do not question his courage. However, the affect his loss will have on the team, to his wives, I cannot help but ache over the anguish of my Rangers. It is a hard duty, and so oft ends in tears.
However, the team pulled together to complete the mission.
Forest Dance 11th, 3127
During the night, Alpha Team watches detected Flame, Darkness, and arcfire nearby in the pass. Even though they heard noises on the wind, they never saw any activity. I have my suspicious. We know that the fallen Ranger, Aronzo, succumbed to Darkness, and with him the powerful arcfire cloak.
We also know that he is, at the very least, opposed to Novri and his team. Whether that is out of some remnant loyalty to his former comrades, or because the Blood Witch’s brood have as much reason to kill Novri, I cannot say.
In the morning, after a fitful rest, Alpha Team ventured down the treacherous slopes to the valley below. Their guide, Stonefoot, a dwarven scout Alpha Team has used before, tied them into a running belay with RFC Blackstone bringing up the rear.
By evening, they reached a well supplied campsite nearer the valley floor. Here, The Explorer took up a post above the team, while the Rangers set watches, ate, and tried to regain their strength and spirit.
An army truly marches on its stomach. There are detailed reports of Venison, stew, wild onions, fresh grilled fish, and dwarven ale. Though I eat far better than I could have ever imagined, somehow, the camp stew of youth seems better than all the roast duck in the world.
It is a wonder. Most days I was too cold or hot, eating barely passable rations, each moment expecting an attack. And yet, every day spent behind a desk, reading reports by candlelight makes my heart sick for the open road.
Forest Dance 12th, 3127
On fourth watch, the dawn watch, RFC Blackstone heard a pair of hunters approaching camp. He remained silent, trying to avoid detection, but the hunters stumbled into camp. Being on the east side of the Black Mountains, the hunters announced in Malakaran.
Waking from her slumber, RFC Ranna responded in kind. They, apologizing, departed on their way. The team shortly after broke camp and continued down into the valley.
By evening on the 12th, Alpha Team was in the lowlands. There, Stonefoot guided them to a large farming Homestead known to board travelers. He negotiated for the team to have a large room, food, ale, and stables for Ranna and the horses.
The meal was gruel, warm, with hard bread and cheese. Hardly appetizing. I’ve eaten far worse and been happy.
Forest Dance 13th, 3127
Alpha Team arrives at the dwarven Clanhome of Temper. Temper sits at headwater of the West Wood river. They headed straight to the docks, but found no one willing to take such a large party.
That night, they camp outside the city along the river. Fortunately, they come to no harm. It would seem that Steelwing’s actions might have achieved the desired result. Moreover, the promised dwarven search parties, dispatched by Captain Volstagg’s order, arrived in the valley searching for Steelwing.
Forest Dance 14th, 3127
Dipping into their own personal funds, Alpha Team was able to hire a river barge willing to transport them to Westport for a reasonable fare. However, he would not be ready for some three days. So, Alpha Team returned to camp to wait.
Forest Dance 15th, 3127
In the morning, the Rangers acquired a week’s worth of supplies. They had been in the field for some time and restock was long overdue.
Forest Dance 16th, 3127
The only incident while waiting for the barge was a drunk stumbling into camp and, supposedly, making “overtures” to Muriel, the Mule.
At home, things were far more troublesome. After months out of contact, the LRT arrived back at the Legion Keep. They even managed to recover a Ranger thought long lost. Their report fills me with dread. Tempest is moving like a plague across the Realms. Moreover, it seems that one of our own has been twisted and turned to their Service.
Forest Dance 17th, 3127
In the morning, Alpha Team boards the river barge and begins the trip south to Westport.
Forest Dance 18th, 3127
Early in the morning, the barge poles into Westport. I know they were contacted by our Farspeaker corps. Captain Roberts of the Sea Ranger had to rearrange picking up the team as Corporal Sssahliisssta had chosen to change the location.
In Ranger fashion, they camped on the beach by the sea. Catching swordfish and eating from the marine life, I am told they enjoyed their seaside vacation. Though, it was a bit cold to swim for anyone but the dregordian.
Forest Dance 20th, 3127
Around noon, Ranger Farspeakers contacted the team and alerted them that Captain Roberts was in port. Leaving their mounts in camp, the Rangers ventured to the “Weighing Anchor” to meet the good Captain.
True to his word, Captain Roberts was waiting when they arrived. He informed them that his Pinnace would arrive to take them aboard ship that afternoon at 5 bells. Until then, he invited them to join him drinking.
In other news, the dwarven scouts had located where Steelwing and Novri had fallen, but neither body could be found. When we attempted to contact Steelwing directly, he resisted our mental intrusions. Not knowing his situation, we elected to continue tracking and monitor the situation.
At 4 bells, the team returned to break camp and fetch their mounts. At 5 bells, they had returned to the docks and the Sea Ranger’s Pinnace was docking. It took two trips, but Alpha Team was transported aboard ship, but NOT the Sea Rangers.
Owing to the fact that we believed Alpha Team was being tracked not just by Novri, we requested Captain Roberts do his utmost to throw of pursuit. To that end, he had hired two captains, Bonnett and Dio.
Alpha Team was actually loaded onto Captain Bonnett’s ship, while Roberts and Dio acted as decoys. Roberts broke immediately for the familiar Eastport. Dio headed south to open sea.
Bonnett was ordered to bear south and east to the lesser used port of Valora.
Even as the Rangers boarded, with the sun touching the horizon, three black sails appeared on the horizon. The Dominion’s Black Armada bore down on the flotilla.
All ships broke, and Bonnett’s headed into the growing dark. Late in the eve, with the sky overcast, Captain Bonnett dispatched a decoy vessel, her own ship going dark. Then, she bore away hard hoping to throw the pirates off the scent. It worked.
Forest Dance 19th, 3127
Dawn on the 19th revealed no sail on the horizon. Captain Bonnett’s plan had worked. They continued on to their destination without incident.
Forest Dance 21st, 3127
By mid morn on the 21st, the ship spotted the shore. In late afternoon, Bonnett’s ship dropped anchor off the coast of Valora. Rangers on shore ferried Alpha Team over by boat and by evening, the team was safely once again in Ranger territory.
The post commander of Valora at that time was an RFC Smith. He was under orders to supply the team with all they would need to speed their return home. From reports, he did so admirably. After a long, hard journey, Alpha Team took some time to relax.
Forest Dance 22nd, 3127
When they were summoned in the morning, they found their mounts groomed, their supplies prepared, and wagons waiting. From Valora they headed to Tolm.
Forest Dance 25th, 3127
Within three days, they arrived in Tolm around mid-day. As there is not a strong Ranger presence, we arranged for a stay in a nice inn.
Forest Dance 26th, 3127
In the morning, Alpha Team departed Tolm for Layla’s Meet.
Forest Dance 29th, 3127
Again, within three days, Alpha Team arrived on schedule. Here, they stayed in a small inn run by friends of the Rangers.
Forest Dance 30th, 3127
In the morning, the team departed for Holk.
Forest Dance 33rd, 3127
Three days later, they arrived in Holk by mid-day. I know that Corporal Sssahliissstah’s original assignment was in the Korg Humps. I wonder if she was able to see some of those she knew? I hope so.
Alpha Team camped with some Goblinesh allies, close associates of the Rangers of the Korg Humps.
Raining Leaves 1st, 3127
Alpha Team departed in the morning headed for Tarrow.
Raining Leaves 3rd, 3127
They arrived in Tarrow by evening. Again, with a smaller Ranger presence, we billeted them in an inn.
Raining Leaves 4th, 3127
Alpha Team departs Tarrow for Serenity.
By evening, they arrived in Serenity. Though we have a Ranger presence, Serenity is independent, so our presence is not particularly strong. Again, we posted Alpha Team in an inn.
Raining Leaves 5th, 3127
Alpha departs Serenity for Farwatch.
Raining Leaves 8th, 3127
At midday, Alpha Team arrived in Farwatch. Here, my old friends invited them in. They stayed at the renovated Ermengild Manor overlooking the heart of the city. They were able to bathe and relax.
Raining Leaves 9th, 3127
Alpha Team departed Farwatch heading home.
Raining Leaves 10th, 3127
By evening, the Rangers of Alpha Team approached the Goblinesh Waystion on the Farwatch-Echer’Naught road. A light rain drizzled down, but the cold made it miserable. My scouts alerted me to their arrival. I had only arrived earlier that day, having just come from Echer’Naught.
I wanted a chance to meet with the team before the chaos of the city. First to approach me was RFC McKenzie Shan. Spying me sitting by the road, she immediately dropped back to warn her team.
Even here, in the heart of home territory, almost within spitting distance of Echer’Naught, Alpha Team followed protocol. It was good to see. When the rest of the team caught up, I invited them in.
Grooms took their horses while my Free Riders camped outside. Despite the wet and chill, all were warm, fed, and well into their cups.
Within the Smithing’s alehouse, we sat a table. I took time to greet them each. Speaking privately with Corporal Sssahliissstah about the team, and RFC Ranna about her loss.
I commiserated with both RFC Ingrid Snow and Shan, but latest reports indicated that their husband, Steelwing, was alive and heading south. Perhaps to Almahrad?
We drank and ate. They seemed well enough, considering their difficult journey. When I feel I have overstayed my welcome, I excuse myself and retire to my own staff. Sergeant Rildrirr joined me. It was good to see the towering barbarian again. He has flourished here.
Raining Leaves 11th, 3127
Alpha Team joined my column and we all road north. By evening, we passed through the South Gate and rode straight into High Towne to the gates of the Regional HQ.
Making my farwells, I headed to my office, leaving the Rangers to their own devices. RFC Blackstone took his wife to the Stahlheim Embassy where she would be housed until a more permanent solution could be arranged.
RFC’s Snow and Shan headed to the Sacred Grove. Both a druids, and both are mourning the absence of their husband.
As for the rest, I hear they enjoyed an evening at the Wayfarer’s Rest. I would have loved to join them, but there were far too many duties for me to attend to.
Raining Leaves 12th, 3127
On the morning of the 12th, RFC Shan and Snow spent the morning in the administrative office filling Matrimony paperwork. Once Steelwing’s condition is settled, they may apply for private housing.
RFC Ranna’s paperwork was processed. Her marriage to former Sergeant Grendel was approved as witnessed by fellow Rangers in the custom of the Northern Gathers. Bitter sweet as it may be, she is now eligible for survivor benefits.
I know that RFC Blackstone met with representatives form Stahlheim at the Embassy along with our ambassador, Lore Master Rourk WhiteBeard, and his wife, Ruby Blackstone. She declined to press charges for her disfigurement.
Stahlheim is campaigning heavily for her to be expedited to their Kingdom, but for the moment, she will remain here, in Echer’Naught. I pray we can keep her safe.
Colonel Anderson also noted that he spoke with Corporal Sssahliissstah and RFC Ranna about her conditions. We have been aware that she was corrupted by the Blood Witch when she saved Sergeant Grendel in Gram Gram’s camp. We also know that on her last night with Grendel, before he sacrificed himself, she begat with child.
Ranger Gilburt Gill Grimm reported to Master Ash’s local Mage Academy of Yomenie Curu in the early morning. By that evening, paperwork was filed with the Rangers notifying the Corps of Grimm’s secondary income, a stipend as a visiting professor of Alchemy at the Academy. To think of Ash in a lecture hall shaping the minds of young mages leaves me both sad and happy. Sad that such a great Ranger has left the field, but happy that his wealth of knowledge will be passed on. Seeing Grimm as a professor, though, time will tell. He seems overly focused on acquisition and wealth. Then again, are any of us what we began?
Raining Leaves 15th, 3127
Per my orders, Alpha Team reported to my office for official recognition and promotions.
Corporal Sssahliissstah was promoted to Sergeant
Ranger Sir Egon Mansfried was promoted to Ranger First Class
Ranger Gilbur Gill Grimm was promoted to Ranger First Class
Afterwards, there was a light breakfast. Later, Sergeant Sssahliissstah requested space for individual interviews with her team. Though I was not privy to those meetings, I know that she filed several requests.
For service above and beyond, The Explorer received a Commendation in his file. His peculiar arrangement with the Rangers precludes his promotion within our organization.
Sadly, there were two issues of disciplinary action.
RFC McKenzie Shan was cited for insubordination. On Forest Dance 10th, 3127, after the loss of her husband, RFC Shan threatened to disobey direct orders and go AWOL in search of RFC Steelwing. Ultimately, Sergeant Sssahliissstah was able to convince RFC Shan to comply, but the act threatened the team and could have cost the Rangers more lives.
RFC McKenzie Shan has received a Written Warning in her file for Insubordination.
RFC Gill was cited for disobeying a direct order. During a supply run while in Mindril Hall, Gill defied Corporal Sssahliissstah’s direct order NOT to purchase combustible components. He did so. Later, in battle with Novri’s Hellhouds, the combustible components endangered RFC Gill’s life and his team.
RFC Gill has received a Written Warning in his file, and his pay is docked to Ranger level for a month.
Due to the lengthy deployment, the fact that two members were pregnant, and other political issues involving Alpha Team, they were put on light duty.
Harvest Moons 16th, 3127
I invited Alpha Team, Major Hawksclaw’s family, Sergeant Minor Longtail’s family, Sir Regillus’ family, and select other friends and family to a Harvest Meal at my in town manor. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Harvest Moons 21st, 3127
I ordered RFC Sir Mansfried and RFC Blackstone to my office. There, at Corporal Sssahliissstah’s request,
RFC Arimar Blackstone was promoted to Corporal, and second command of Alpha Team.
RFC Sir Egon Mansfried was promoted to third in command, though he retains his RFC rank.
Alpha Team remained on light duty. RFC Ingrid Snow continued to seek High Druidess Treesinger’s aid in her pregnancy, while RFC Ranna sought the Silver Priests of the Silver Unicorn for her own.
Harvest Moons 25th, 3127
Alpha Team was briefed on their newest assignment. On Harvest Moons 33rd, 3127, dignitaries from across Olara and the northern Wildlands were invited to Echer’Naught to witness the unveiling of the Fort Halten Sanitation Works, the largest and most ambitious waste management system ever devised.
Though somewhat less inspiring than a grand memorial, the waste treatment plant would drain the cesspool in Low Town, preventing disease, misery, and the putrid stench that choked the city every summer.
The Duchess of Harken planned to attend, as well as, members of the Olaran Royal court. To provide security, Rangers were drawn from the surrounding areas. All told, we planned to field nearly 1500 Rangers to provide security for over 6000 people.
With all eyes on the Rangers, it was imperative that no civilians be harmed during the event. To that end, Alpha Team requested special training. I authorized joint training in Low Town with the City Watch.
For the next week and a half, the Rangers of Alpha Team trained, patrolled, and learned the lay of the land.
Harvest Moons 33rd, 3127
In the pre-dawn, Alpha Team reported to Major Hawksclaw’s command post in the local HQ. They were joined by Rangers and City Watch, before dispersing to their crowd control post near the Low Town housing blocks.
Rangers, Milita, and City Watch patrolled every street corner. The crowds gathered quickly, the all eyes were on the Sanitation Works.
As expected, there were minor disturbances, petty theft, and medical emergencies. Only an abortive attack by the Storm Guard near Alpha Team’s post nearly ruined the event, but Major Hawkclaw’s Free Riders, and Alpha Team’s swift response contained the attack before anyone was harmed.
By the time I arrived, The Explorer had secured their arcfire and the Storm Guard were being carted off to prison.
Everything seemed to go well. Too well, I suppose. With a mighty groan, the Sanitation Works roared to life, and clean water poured from the offal of the city. Sir Halten seemed less than pleased to be the namesake of a sewage factory, but there was little he could say.
Everyone retired to estates, or street parties, to celebrate the day’s events. It was not until that afternoon the first signs of danger appeared.
At the moment the Sanitation works started, it appeared that every well in High Towne ran dry. With hundreds of dignitaries retiring to the hill for parties, and bathes, the sudden loss of water through them into a rage. By nightfall, I had a horde of raging nobles beating down the gates of the Regional HQ.
Sir Halten, peeved by the days events, took the opportunity to upbraid me and blame the Rangers for the loss of water. He threatened retribution if I did not immediately redistribute water rights from Middle Town to the nobles of High Towne. He stormed out as Major Hawksclaw and the commanders of Alpha Team arrived.
I summoned the city engineer, and Ranger teams for security, including the remainder Alpha Team. We particularly needed Corporal Blackstone for his affinity for stone. The engineer, Master Kester Highwall, arrived with his staff just after Alpha Team was posted at the gates.
While we debate the issue, the Beacon Tower’s bell rings. Invasion. Every man in the room grab their weapons as Hawksclaw opens the door. To the north, a column of smoke rises into the sky. We sprint to our horses, and ride to the north gate of High Towne which as collapsed into a sink hole. All of the guards sucked down with it.
I order Hawksclaw to handle the crowd of nobles while Corporal Blackstone tries to rescue those lost in the accident. He save a two, but ten died instantly. More Rangers arrive, the Engineer as well.
Every analysis suggests the hole is naturally forming due to the sudden change in the water table. But why? Only then does Master Kester Highwall report he detects a large void directly behind the sinkhole.
With no further information, I order Corporal Blackstone and RFC Mansfried into the void on a recon mission. If we are under attack, we would need to know by whom. Grasping the Olaran, they sink into the earth.
We wait a heartbeat, and then the night is ripped by the sharp, staccato report of arcfire. Burnt orange flashes from cracks in the ground. And Mansfried is blasted out of the hole, dragging Blackstone’s unconscious body. The Olaran was badly wounded, his body riddle by wounds that punched through his armor like lances.
Healers immediately tended to the wounded as I called for a shield wall. When my Rangers were revived, I listened in growing horror to their report. In the void they found ruins, an entrance of some kind and eight glowing lights which floated in the gloom. From those burning lights lanced beams of pure arcfire powerful enough to damage the Ramshorn shield.
Seeing the crack across the white ramshorn filled me with a sense of dread I have not felt since losing Ironblood.
Tremors rock High Towne. Evacuations have begun. We have an unknown enemy wielding powerful arcfire below our city and every dignitary is now in danger, along with our families and everything we have built.
This may be one of the gravest fights of our lives. And if we fail…
…We may lose Echer’Naught forever.
Your most obedient servant,
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel
Echer’Naught Ranger Regional Command, Olara